Children can be some of the greatest humans on earth, but still be a terrible patient. They are not typically fond of doctors, dentists and regular checkups. Naturally, parents want to choose the very best for their children.
Choosing a dentist should be no different. So what should parents look for when seeking out their pediatric dentist? Let’s take a look at some key things to consider when making the choice.
Are they trained to be a pediatric dentist?
While this may seem like a “duh” requirement, it is important to take a deeper look at the training the dentist has undergone and look for special training credentials. All dentists will attend college for 4 years and dental school for 4 years.
Pediatric dentists undergo unique training for kid’s dental care, specifically in addition to general training. This special training helps pediatric dentists to understand children and learn techniques to comfort and moderate their behaviors through the use of child psychology and developmental biology.
Is the environment kid friendly?
Our environment has a much greater effect on us than we tend to believe. Children are attracted to and feel comfortable in environments with bright colors, patterns, and fun shapes.
Pediatric dentists should create an environment in which children are welcomed and that gives them a sense of comfort in an otherwise stress-inducing experience. But a friendly environment also comes from the people within it.
Your pediatric dentist should be kind and caring and the staff should make you and your child feel safe, welcomed, and wanted. A friendly staff can truly make or break the experience for your child.
It’s also often helpful when the office provides child toys, books, or movies to entertain them while they wait or while they are being treated. Children also respond positively to a prize at the end of their visit or a goody bag to take home.
What kind of approach do they take?
It is important that your dentist takes a preventative approach in opposition to a reactive approach. Children are especially in need of a proactive approach as they are constantly growing, changing, and preparing to grow up.
Children also tend to be more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay, making it more important to consider long-term solutions and preparation for their future. When your pediatric dentist takes a proactive approach, they can recognize potential issues before they arise and treat them early.
Do you feel like you are wanted there?
It is important to build relationships with your dentist and their team, so that when scary situations do arise, you are confident in their care for your child. The team should make an effort to get to know your child and their needs in order to better understand how they need to be treated.
It is in a parents best interest to find a pediatric dental team that treats you and your child like a family.
How do they respond to emergencies?
Dental emergencies are fairly common, especially among active children. This is a key question to ask of your potential dental office so that if something does arise, you know they will be there for you. Most offices have an emergency phone number that is available after hours.
Schedule a consultation
Most kid’s dental practices will help you schedule a consultation as a “get to know you appointment.” These special appointments can give parents a great look into the way your child reacts and interacts with their dentist and should help make the decision a little simpler. Consultations can help parents choose the right fit for their family.
Your pediatric dentist search doesn’t have to be difficult. These key questions and tips can aid in a smooth process for you and your family.
So with these points in mind, start your search today. You got this, parents! You are doing great!